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A multiregional assessment of transnational pathways of introduction

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-03-01, 21:47 authored by CM McGrannachan, S Pagad, Melodie McGeochMelodie McGeoch
© 2021. Christopher McGrannachan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Information on the pathways by which alien taxa are introduced to new regions is vital for prioritising policy and management responses to invasions. However, available datasets are often compiled using disparate methods, making comparison and collation of pathway data difficult. Using a standardised framework for recording and categorising pathway data can help to rectify this problem and provide the information necessary to develop indicators for reporting on alien introductions. We combine the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Pathways Categorisation Scheme (CPC) with data compiled by the Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) to report on multiregional trends on alien introduction pathways over the past 200+ years. We found a significant increase in the documented number of multiregional alien introduction events across all pathways of the CPC’s three hierarchical levels. The ‘escape’ pathway is the most common documented pathway used by alien taxa. Transport stowaways via shipping-related pathways are a rapidly increasing contribution to alien introductions. Most alien introduction events were of unknown pathway origin, highlighting the challenge of information gaps in pathway data and reiterating the need for standardised information-gathering practices. Combining the CPC framework with alien introduction pathways data will standardise pathway information and facilitate the development of global indicators of trends in alien introductions and the pathways they use. These indicators have the potential to inform policy and management strategies for preventing future biological invasions and can be down-scaled to national and regional levels that are applicable across taxa and ecosystems.


MAM acknowledges support from the Australian Research Council (DP200101680).


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p. 43-67


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